Natural Cures Using Activated Charcoal

Mar 31, 2017

Activated Charcoal Cures

What is Activated Charcoal?

Bought at your local pharmacy, activated charcoal is commonly used in emergency treatment for specific kinds of poisonings and drug overdoses to keep the poison from being absorbed from the stomach into the body. Charcoal is also used to cure gas/flatulence and help an upset stomach. A natural deodorant and disinfectant, Activated Charcoal is one of the finest absorptive and adsorptive agents known.

Taken orally, these fine black granules have an amazing ability to extract and neutralize many more times their own weight in gases, heavy metals, toxins, poisons and other chemicals. Activated Charcoal is made by heating coconut shells in the absence of air. The partly burned shells are then granulated to a size that provides for optimum absorption. This vegetable form of carbon (an element found in all living matter), is completely safe for human consumption. Long recognized as being particularly helpful in providing relief for trapped gas in the lower intestine, physicians and regulatory agencies also acknowledge charcoal's cleansing properties. Activated Charcoal is used worldwide in hospital emergency rooms to neutralize drugs and poisons.

Since 1813, when a chemist swallowed five grams of arsenic trioxide mixed with charcoal with no adverse effect, charcoal has been commonly used as a household remedy for accidental poisoning. Research has shown that one cubic inch of charcoal has the surface area equivalent to a 150,000-square-foot field! Thus a tiny amount of charcoal can hold adhere to a large number of molecules, ions, and atoms and absorb poison quickly.

How Activated Charcoal works:

Activated charcoal keeps the poison from being absorbed from the stomach into the body.

Charcoal is most successful if used within the first hour of swallowing poison. In severe poisoning cases, several doses of charcoal might be required. Ordinarily, activated charcoal should not be used to treat the ingestion of corrosive poisons (lye, acids, fuel oil, alcohols, et cetera). In the event of accidental poisoning, please call your doctor or area Poison Control Center before using activated charcoal. They will advise as to the use of charcoal after taking info on the the type of poison, allergies, and other medical problems.

Warning: Charcoal can decrease your body's absorption of certain nutrients and also interfere with medications.

Because of this, frequent use is not recommended. Activated charcoal may also cause abdominal pain or swelling. If this occurs, contact your doctor immediately -- it could be an indication of intestinal bleeding or blockage.

Other Cures Using Activated Charcoal

Charcoal has been used as a poultice to reduce inflammation and absorb poisons from your skin caused by infection, chemicals, or insect bites and stings.

Poultice Recipe:

Mix equal parts of flaxseed and activated charcoal with enough hot water to make a paste. Quickly put the paste into a muslin cloth then place on the inflamed area. Cover with plastic, then wrap with a wool cloth or wool sock. Leave on at least four hours. Upon removal of the poultice, rub the inflamed area with ice and check for signs of infection. Apply another poultice if necessary.

Charcoal alleviates gas and helps an upset stomach

For gas, take 520-975 mg (as tablets or capsules) after each meal, not to exceed five grams daily. Children should be given smaller amounts. Charcoal is one of the most popular remedies for travellers to developing countries as it reportedly helps diarahhea.

Digestive System Cleanse

Activated charcoal can be used as for a digestive system cleanse. It is suited for first-timers, as a pre-cleanse before a fast, for people with mild digestive symptoms, or as a general preventative measure. This duration of this cleanse is usually two to three weeks.

How charcoal works to detox your system: Activated charcoal binds intestinal toxins and unfriendly microbial growth and excretes them in the stools.

Recipe: 500-600 mg tablets three times per day 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals and medication.

Activated Charcoal and Meds  

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Posted by Anonymouscat (Sarasota, Florida) on 07/04/2012
5 out of 5 stars

Took Benadryl for hives, but begain having serious adverse side effects: pounding, irregular or racing heartbeat shaking tremors difficult time catching your breathe, my tongue felt thick. Seriously feel like I was going to die! Well all of that happened to me, dr called and said she thought it was a reaction from the Benadryl. So I took some activated charcoal tablets I always keep on hand, and the adverse side effects fell away It was truly AMAZING.

Posted by Craig (Las Vegas, Nevada) on 12/23/2011

Would taking the activated charcoal affect someone who is on a fentynal patch? Would it reduce the effectiveness of the patch?

Also does activated help with parasites?


Replied by Charcoal Dependent
California, US

Activated charcoal may have an effect on a fentanyl patch although, not as severe as if you were taking an opioid pill. I still think it would pull some of the fentanyl out of your system. Check with your doctor, and or try a dose or two and see how you feel. No withdrawals intended :) I am a RN who is prescribed a large amount of activated charcoal due to a form of toxicosis. My MD advised me to wait 90 minutes-120minutes between taking charcoal and other medications or supplements. Make sure if you take activated charcoal, that you at least take a multi vitamin. As the article mentioned, charcoal will pretty much absorb the good with the bad.

Posted by Rita (Skandia, Michigan /usa) on 02/05/2010

Will the activated charcoal tabs take away the effectiveness of my medicine?

Replied by Heartrhythms
Santa Fe, Nm

Hi Rita, activated charcoal would probably reduce the absorption of your medicine if taken around the same time (to be safe, I'd leave at least 4-5 hours between the charcoal and meds).

Activated Charcoal for Dogs  

Posted by Italiandobergirl (Nj) on 11/17/2015

I am a now retired Vet Tech yet will be opening a Pet Rehab in NJ I pray. I also run a 501(c)(3) Animal Rescue. We save all B& S, yet many Dobermans that are very gassy and prone to bloat.

I am a huge fan from my work at a Vet of the use of Activated Charcoal (AC). I always had it on hand. Issue until I open my Business/Clinic I am looking for any OTC compatible AC. The AC at stores has dyes and other ingredients not good for our furkids.

Has anyone found a brand OTC as I am not a fan of ordering, and now will NOT order any online meds that is NOT a VIP Approved Pharmacy.

Yes sidenote other non VIP Online Pharmacies have had many reports of tampered meds or not even the correct PLEASE make sure you utilize a VIP Pharmacy. I.E. Dr. Foster & Smith is VIP. JW any specific brands to add to my first aid kit for my furkids and our Rescues? Grazie.

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Italiandobergirl,

Well, my charcoal source is not a VIP approved pharmacy, as far as I know. But I have used them for years and have always been very happy with the service and products. We use charcoal to treat our people, our farm animals and our pets.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Steve

I've had good success with starwest activated charcoal. They should have 1lb bulk bags. Not sure about the VIP labs that sell this.

Replied by Joan

The brand KAL charcoal activated seems pure and only has charcoal and gelatin due to the capsule. U can find it on

Bee Sting  

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Posted by Grace (Spring City, Tn.) on 03/27/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I have used charcoal for bee stings also. It works good to put this mixture into a pouch: cut from a baby diaper or chuck with medical tape around it, Pull out the stay dry lining because charcoal only keeps drawing if it is wet. Ground Flax seed works best but when my husband became allergic to flax seed I started using corn starch.

This also works on Brown Recluse Spider Bites, Snake Bites, Mosquito Bites, Infected Cuts of any kind and Ear Infections (Tape to the out side of the ear, pulls the infection out). I used this on my children it really works. Put it on at night and the next morning there was yellowish pus on the poultice.

I believe if people knew the benefits of Charcoal and how to use it many lives would be saved. No worries about gangrene.

Replied by Kate

How do you tape to the outside of ear without it going in? would you please elaborate?

Posted by Gean (Salina, Kansas) on 05/05/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I am very allergic to bee stings. I had gotten stung a few times during my childhood and teens, each time with more severe swelling. The last time I had gotten stung (stepped on a bee going barefoot), my leg swelled up like an elephant leg all the way to the thigh (the time before that it was just above the knee). So I knew it would be worse the next time, so I carried an Epi-pen around for a while until it expired. Then I carried nothing with me, but I knew if I got stung again esp. above the waist it would probably cut off my airway circulation. Well, lo and behold, about 20 years later I got stung again, right on my throat, so I yelled for my husband to call 911, thinking I was done for. Then a few seconds later I said, "Never mind! Hang up and help me mix up this charcoal!" So we took some powdered activated charcoal, mixed it with water, and applied it to the sting site. When the paramedics showed up a few minutes later (they had traced the call), we told them we were fine, since there was no swelling at all. I changed the charcoal poultice quite often during that first day, I don't remember exactly how often. Maybe every hour for a few hours. We also ground up some flax seed and mixed it with the charcoal and water. This makes it gelatinous and less runny. I kept the poultice on for about 3 days. Two days later I felt it itch and begin to swell, and then I realized the poultice had slipped off the sting site. So I knew I was still very allergic, and the charcoal had probably saved my life.


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Posted by Mark (Las Vegas, Ca) on 03/30/2012
5 out of 5 stars

Activated Charcoal is good for food poisoning, Gas and bloating and Accidental poisoning. Always keep some on the house. I take it fairly often. I have never had a bad experience using it but many times it has saved me from problems such as gas, bloating and bad food.

Those that warn people to stay away always fail to recognize that maybe it will work for others and their problems might be an abberation and not the typical experience. I have never had charcoal cause constipation.

Posted by Killer Bees (Brisbane, Australia) on 05/15/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I had the same problem as Sharon from Santa Fe. I'm 42 now and for the last couple of years, I've had problems with everything I eat making me bloated and uncomfortable. I've tried everything I can think of, including elimination diets, with no luck. But activated charcoal really worked for me. I take 2 tabs in the morning and then 2 at night, each time about an hour after eating to give my body time to digest the meal's nutrients. I don't usually take it at lunch time because I only have soup or tea and that doesn't seem to upset me too much. I didn't have the diahorrea. My stools were solid and did change to a very dark brown/black and I felt very cleaned out. They passed more easily as well. I'll keep taking the tabs twice a day until I feel like I don't need them. My thanks to Sharon from Santa Fe for recommending this product. Girl, you rock!

Posted by Sharon (Santa Fe, NM) on 03/04/2008
5 out of 5 stars

After menopause, I seemed to be bloated in my midsection most of the time. My lower stomach was puffy most of the time. I'm a thin person, and thought this was weight gain due to menopause & quitting smoking. Ond day I took 2 activated charcoal capsules for gas, and I ended up spending a lot of time in the bathroom that day. By that evening, I realized that my stomach was flat again! I figured that the charcoal had detoxified my system!! I will continue to take the charcoal once or twice weekly now. I am extremely happy with the results!!

Body Odor  

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Posted by Christine (Virginia Beach, VA) on 04/16/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Liquid Chlorophyll and activated charcoal will go a long way to getting rid of body odor when used internally. Unfortunately, both of them can cause stains. So be sure to use them in an empty sink to avoid staining your counter or clothing.

Although you have to be careful with it to avoid making a mess, activated charcoal is best used in bulk. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons to a pint of water, and sip through a straw. Be sure to rinse out your mouth with peroxide afterward and rinse your teeth to get the charcoal off.

Activated charcoal in bulk is made from coal or coconut shells. Obviously, you want the coconut shell-made activated charcoal. You can buy it in bulk online in 40-50 pound lots, and split the cost with your friends.

Activated charcoal is a universal detoxifier and is used in emergency rooms for that purpose. Given that there are thousands and thousands of chemicals in our food, water, and air, and we have no idea how they interact with each other, it behooves all of us to take universal detoxifiers like large doses of Vitamin C or activated charcoal. Liquid Chlorophyll is also a detoxifier.

Replied by Mark
Las Vegas, Nv

You don't need to use peroxide after drinking it. Activated Charcoal will NOT permanently stain your teeth. You only need to brush them. In fact I brush me teeth with activated charcoal powder and it gets them whiter than anything else.

Replied by Joy
Battleground, Wash

I use to chew on activated charcoal when I didn't have capsules. it would stick to my gums around my teeth and be black and hard to get off. I brush with coconut oil and it has removed our brownish water stains from my teeth. If it didn't clog the pipes I would wash the tub, shower, toilet with the coconut.... it makes my teeth white and removes the sensitivies.

Charcoal Feedback  

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Posted by Marsha (Australia, Victoria) on 09/03/2015

I only learned about activated charcoal here and knowing what it can do convinced me to store some in the house in addition to apple cider, baking soda, turmeric, and honey. I'm so glad that I found this site as the remedies I got here easy to prepare and very effective! This is now my to go site for various ailments. Thank you all!!

Posted by Jeanne (Atl, Georgia) on 06/25/2008
1 out of 5 stars


Please be careful if you try activated charcoal! I was getting stomach pain 20 minutes after every meal. I finally figured out that my stomach pain started after I took activated charcoal (heaping tablespoon for 2 days in a row - not a lot!). I located the pain in my stomach, found a little lump in the colon, and then used my fist to move the lump to the left. A day later my husband took over, found the lump,(which had moved slightly) and did acupressure for about 2 minutes on the spot-- ohhh yes, it hurt. But within minutes I had to run to the bathroom and the rest is history. No more stomach pain. So please be careful with the charcoal, especially if you have a sensitive stomach! I think that people's stomach aches can be often be an impacted colon. The same thing has happened to me before after eating bread and another time, after drinking psyllium without enough water!

If you press on your stomach and have a painful spot that moves slowly from one day to the next, you may have clogged your colon/intestines. Tons of water helps, but acupressure massage is best to move the obstruction to your bowels and out. One last note is that I was having normal bowel movements even while my colon was impacted, so don't rely on that (constipation or elimination) to judge, but more on the location of pain and whether or not a little lump exists.

Replied by Connie
Manitowoc, Wisconsin

Maybe drinking more water with the charcoal would help?

Replied by Mercedes
Wilkes Barre, Pa/usa
0 out of 5 stars

I took natures way activated charcoal for gas pains it caused worse pains then I started I also feel a lump in my stomach it has been 6 days and I still cannot have a bm. I also went to the hospital for this pain. They couldnt do anything for me because I took exlax which made me go but not the hard lump above belly button. The exlax made me dehydrated so they sent me home. I wouldn't recomend this to my worst enemy. So to all who read this before taking it please don't take it.

Replied by Diamond
Salisbury, Usa

Jeanne;I think the inscription might read take only 1/2 a teaspoon of Activated Charcoal, then work your way up gradually to one tsp. Most people will have negative results to anything, even food, but our bodies will let us know when enough is enough or that it's not good for one person but is for another.

True? good luck

Replied by Jennifer
Duluth, Ga

Food grade activated charcoal is made from hardwood, coconut, or bamboo if I'm not mistaken. Amazing product! I bought the hardwood activated charcoal and it has worked very well for me and my family. I used it when my son got stung by a wasp and it took the pain away very quickly. It also helped me avoid a nasty stomach virus that was going around my house. And if I eat something that I know will give me gas. I just take some activated charcoal and I don't get gas. Love this stuff!!

Posted by Jennie (Copenhagen, Denmark) on 06/15/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I had been losing weight really quickly after starting an exercise program. I wanted to make sure that any old toxins that had been stored in my fat didn't start circulating in my body, so I took 1 tablet of activated charcoal, 3 times a day (remembering to wait 2 hours before/after eating), for a week. I didn't exactly feel a difference, but I SAW one. I looked five years younger (am only 30, so that's a lot for me)! I also highly recommend adding 1 teaspoon of activated charcoal powder to 1 tablespoon of facial mask. It is a mini-facelift!

Posted by Norman (Edmonton, Canada) on 06/21/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Our family has used activated charcoal tablets as a quick remedy for digestive problems for years. In Asia one can buy them for pennies, and with the spicy foods there and possible diaheria at times they are a life saver. Recently I moved back to Canada and feel like I am in a 3rd world country. Anything connected with health and well being is either unavailable or overpriced. How sad that we can not even buy a harmless product that can save ones life when an accidental poisoing occurs. You will only realize how much Canada has peddled backwards in the past 10 years when you visit other countries.

Posted by Christine (Lancaster, CA) on 11/28/2005
5 out of 5 stars

I have been using charcoal for approx 14 yrs. In our home it has been used for nausea/vomiting; diarrhea; upset stomach; belching; heart burn; gas; indigestion; poultices over painful areas on diffent parts of the body; pasty poultice over insect bites, over the stomach in a poultice for fevers. As a nurse, I highly recommend it to all.

Replied by Janyl
La Porte, Indiana

This post from 2005 says she used charcoal that for over 14 years and there are several areas or info that state you shouldn't take it long-term. Do you happen to know the real answer to this??